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Types of Donation

Whole Blood

The most common form of blood donation is when a donor gives one unit of blood: the "whole blood donation." After your donation, the blood is separated into its components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. This is done to optimize every single donation made to RRVBC. Red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and remove carbon dioxide and waste. More than 70% of all transfusions are red blood cells. Trauma victims and patients undergoing surgery are the most common users of red blood cells. Platelets act to induce clotting and control bleeding. Platelets only last 5 days and are commonly used to support cancer treatments and transplant patients. Plasma is 92% water and 7% protein. Plasma proteins are used to make derivatives used for patient care. These proteins are used to treat patients with bleeding and immunologic disorders.


During a double red blood cell donation (DRBC), two units of red cells are collected while the additional components of the blood are returned to the donor. Gender, height and weight are crucial in determining whether a person can give this type of donation. In general, women must be at least 5′5″ tall and weigh at least 150 pounds, and men must be at least 5′1″ tall and weigh at least 130 pounds. An additional benefit of double red cell donation is that a donor can accomplish in just one visit what he or she normally accomplishes in two visits. You'll feel twice as amazing!


Many medical procedures require platelet transfusions: such as heart surgery, burn treatments and organ transplants. During a platelet donation, one or two units of platelets can be collected. Depending on your weight, hemoglobin and platelet level, blood center staff will suggest the optimal donation for that day. Because platelets only last 5 days, the blood center is very careful to collect what is needed within a specific time frame.

Automated Donation takes a little longer than a whole blood donation (the actual time depends on variables like the donor's height and weight), so we also offer a few comforts to help pass the time:

  • free wireless internet so bring you laptops
  • TV/DVD players and headsets as well as a full library of current DVDs.
  • warm blankets to keep donors comfortable.

Hereditary Hemochromatosis

MEDIC Regional Blood Center accepts Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) patients as volunteer blood donors. Patients with HH can now have their blood used for transfusion rather than be discarded. Donors with HH can donate under the same circumstances as any other volunteer blood donor, except that he/she may be permitted to donate more frequently than every 56 days.

Autologous Donation Program

An autologous blood donation is a procedure in which a patient scheduled for surgery donates his or her own blood to be stored until it is needed for non-emergency surgery.

Talk with your physician about autologous blood donation to learn about the possible need for blood during your surgery and your ability to donate for your own future use. An autologous donation requires written permission from your physician. Your doctor must complete a form and fax, mail or hand deliver on the day of your donation. Please note: these donation types are only taken at our two fixed sites: 1601 Ailor Avenue or 11000 Kingston Pike/Farragut.

Questions concerning the actual donation or scheduling should be directed to MEDIC Regional Blood Center at 865-524-3074.
The donor must bring a photo ID, and a list of all medications currently being taken. If you are donating more than one unit of blood it is important to take any iron supplements prescribed by your physician. Please eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids within three hours prior to donating.

Directed Donor Program

A directed donation is the personal selection of blood donors for the purpose of any blood transfusion that you may require related to surgery or other medical procedure. Please check with your specific hospitals as some hospitals are discontinuing this program.

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